“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2, justifying a really bad decision
All rose photography taken by Erica Jane.
According to our young heroine, Romeo’s name doesn’t matter- because names in and of themselves don’t matter. It’s a poor rationale for ignoring the chaos she is about to unleash on herself- and it is also not true. The truth is, what someone or something is called can really matter!
Words have meaning. Images have meaning. All of the things we use to communicate, verbal and visual, convey meaning– that’s the whole point of communication! And when it comes to your brand, getting the right combination of words and images to convey the value of your brand’s offering isn’t an easy task. What do you want your audience to understand about your brand? What do they need to know? The words and images you choose will make a big difference.
Everyone talks about brand awareness– but being known is only half the battle. Without the desired brand image or clear brand meaning, brand awareness won’t produce the right results. What’s the point of simply knowing about a brand if you have no other information on what it’s actually about?
Your brand is not just a name; it’s an identity, a story, and a promise. Your brand image, brand meaning, brand identity- it’s a bundle of emotions and perceptions woven into every interaction a customer has with your business, and it’s vital to communicating why your brand is the right brand for them.
Brand image comes down to what ideas and associations people have about your brand – this might include positive and negative, important and unimportant, or true and false beliefs. To achieve the right brand image- get positive, relevant and real ideas about your brand into the world- you need to carefully construct your brand meaning.
Brand meaning starts with the basics of who your brand is meant for, and why your brand is helpful/ special/ beneficial/ desirable for them. How does your brand fit into customers’ lives? What does it help them do? Who does it help them be? Brand meaning includes both the logical reasons your target audience would choose your product and the emotions that reinforce and strengthen this choice.
All strong brands connect both logically and emotionally to their audience. At the bare minimum- brands must evoke a feeling of trust– but feelings such as excitement, warmth or connection can also help differentiate your brand from competitors who are offering similar products or services.
You need to evoke the right brand feelings at the same time you deliver the right information to help your potential customer choose you. And with that logical and emotional connection with your audience, it’s important to strike the perfect balance that tells your customer, “Okay, this is how my brand benefits you, and this is why you should care”.
All of this starts with your brand identity– your brand name, logo, tagline, your online presence- all of the powerful communication tools your target audience will encounter before they know much about you. Your brand identity introduces you!
Think of your resume when you apply for a job- the colours, the design, the layout, all create the first impression that shapes the perceptions of your potential future employers. That resume is the first thing they see, and it becomes, essentially, your own personal brand identity. Everything people find when they search up your name online becomes a part of who you are before they actually get to know who you are.
Your brand identity is the face of your business, the first impression you give your audience. It becomes the visual and textual embodiment of your entire brand meaning. Consider the symbol used by Dove, the shape of a bird imprinted on a bar of soap.
Once a clever metaphor for the purity and gentleness of the product, the meaning of the Dove logo has both deepened and broadened to represent a brand that cares about its consumers’ self-esteem. This is a great example of how a brand identity can be symbolic of the brand’s values, promises, and experiences. Your own brand identity should be a representation of who you are and what you stand for. It should be authentic to you.
Conveying the right meaning at the right time to evoke the right set of emotions from the right customers sounds complex- believe me, I know. But that’s all the more reason why it is so important to invest the time to get it just right. Your brand identity becomes the silent storyteller that sets the stage of what you have to offer, or the handshake that introduces your brand even before proper words are exchanged.
Investing time and resources in refining and perfecting your brand identity is not just a business strategy- it’s a commitment to building a lasting and meaningful relationship with your audience.
As your dedicated marketing consultant and brand expert, I am here to guide you through this brand identity journey. I offer a comprehensive approach to brand development, working closely with you to uncover the essence of your business and translate it into a compelling brand identity with strong brand meaning. I will investigate your industry, competition and market and come up with a competitive differentiation strategy for your brand, all while collaborating with you to uncover the specific elements that will set your brand apart from competitors.
What’s in a name? A logo? A brand identity? An incredible opportunity to communicate what makes your brand unique and relevant to your customer! Let me help you tell your unique brand story and connect to your audience. We can grow your business together.
If you want to build a meaningful, powerful brand identity, contact me here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.